Posts Tagged Fitness
We’re all so busy this time of year! Between running errands, buying (or making) holiday gifts, cooking, cleaning and getting ready for some much-needed time off, many of us burn the candle at both ends. Fitting in our usual fitness routines, or making a first (or twentieth) attempt to once and for all get fit is certainly a challenge, and something many of us put off until the New Year begins. But why put off until tomorrow what we can do today? My dad always told me to never procrastinate (perhaps that’s why I am such a planner–sometimes to a fault). In an effort to help myself and inspire and motivate you to get or stay moving this December, I’ve decided to create a December Fitness Challenge. On Twitter and on Facebook, I’ll use #doitindecember to chronicle my own daily workouts and let you know whether I meet or fall short of my weekly goals. I’ll also give you tips and suggest resources to help you stay motivated. You’re sure to find that making even a little time to be fit will help you have more energy and be in a better mood to check off all of the 101 things on your December to do list.
So what are you waiting for?
Here are my personal goals for the month of December:
Aerobic activity: At least 5 hours of any combo of walking, running, jumping rope or dancing each week. I will also try my best to dance or take a fitness class (like spinning or tap or zumba or yoga) once a week.
Anaerobic activity: At least 2 or 3 sets of 5 upper body exercises and 5 lower body exercises twice a week AND abdominal exercises for 10 minutes at least twice a week.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
President’s Challenge (it’s not just for kids!)
What are your December fitness and activity goals? Please share them below. You can also share one of your favorite motivating resources. Be sure to Tweet (or post on Facebook) your progress with me throughout the month. I look forward to ‘Doing It with You’ in December!
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Ahhh, exercise. Easier said than done, right? I personally love to do it. My favorite activities? Taking a long walk or hike outside solo (listening to music) or with a friend, taking a class like tap dancing or Zumba, or doing some sort of weight training (think lunges, squats, and abdominal exercises). I consider exercise and being active just as important to my daily routine as brushing my teeth, and definitely feel the effects when I skip a day.
I usually plan to do some sort of formal exercise first thing in the morning. But I also try to be mindful to keep active throughout the day and walk places instead of taking a cab or public transportation. And with the exception of when I write at my desk, I try to not sit for too long of a stretch.
When work or life get in the way of my exercise, I chalk it up to one of those days, and get back on track the next day.
There are countless studies that say exercise is oh so good for our hearts and our overall health. But for me, exercise is something that I do mainly because it helps me feel better both physically and mentally. My body feels and works better when I move it more, and I have a sense of accomplishment each and every time I set and achieve an exercise goal, even if it’s a relatively small one. And I’m in complete agreement with David Katz, MD, Director and founder of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. According to Katz, “We are animals, with a native animal vitality too many of us squander!” He says exercise enables us to unleash that vitality. That it does!
Unfortunately, not everyone loves to exercise–and it make sense that if you don’t enjoy something, you don’t make an effort to do it. Oprah admittedly doesn’t like to exercise, but she makes herself do it because she knows how important it is.
A few days ago, a blog I wrote about the Weekly Fitness Challenge was posted on caloriecount.com. That blog and the tips below are designed to inspire and motivate you–whether you’re new to exercise or have had trouble in the past getting into a regular fitness routine–to take at least one small step towards living a more fit and active life.
- Shuffle it up! Putting 20-30 motivating songs on your ipod or phone can make exercise feel easier and be more enjoyable. Knowing you’ll have good music to listen to when you exercise will also give you something to look forward to and may inspire you to stay on target.
- Acknowledge improvement, even if it seems small. If you walk for 20 minutes every day or every other day during the first week, and bump it up to 22 minutes the second week, pat yourself on the back! Know that any improvement is a step in the right direction.
~Tammy Lakatos Shames & Lyssie Lakatos,The Nutrition Twins®, registered dietitians and personal trainers
- Believe in yourself. It’s easy to skip workouts or begin to get impatient when you’re looking for results. Positivity is a great motivator. Always remind yourself why you’re exercising, and that may motivate you to stay on course.
- Have fun! Start with something you’ll enjoy and have fun with it–whether its ballroom dancing, walking, or doing yoga.
~ Rebecca Scritchfield, a Washington, DC-based registered dietitian and health & fitness specialist, and the “mother of me time.”
- Enlist the help of a friend. People have workout partners for a reason…they keep them company and they help them stay motivated!
- Cross Train. Vary activities to keep yourself motivated and interested. Whether you take a group class like Zumba, spinning, or pilates, or use weight and/or cardio machines, it all counts as exercise.
~Larysa Didio, certified personal trainer and fitness author
Please share your own tip for staying motivated to exercise.click to comment
Did you know that, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids aged 8 to 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day on ‘entertainment media’—watching tv or movies, listening to music, and playing video games. They also were found to spend another 2 hours texting or talking on the phone.
Unfortunately, more sedentary behavior (and less active play) usually means a higher risk of being overweight or obese. Screen-Free Week is an initiative that kicks off today, April 18, to promote more healthful lifestyle behaviors for busy parents, teachers, and those who work with and/or care for kids to find active alternatives to screen time.
Here are some screen-free gems–tips and resources to help you help the next generation move more and sit less. Even if you don’t completely turn off the screens in your home or workplace, you can replace some of the time you’d otherwise spend in front of a screen to be more active and reap the many benefits physical activity can provide.
*WeCan! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition), a science-based national education program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), helps children ages 8-13 stay at a healthy weight. WeCan! offers several materials to help caregivers and families encourage children to become more active. Some tips to get active include:
*Walk your children to school –I do this as much as possible and find it a wonderful way to connect with my kids);
*Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV –you can walk home from school or take a half hour walk with your family right before or after dinner);
*Play with your kids at least 30 minutes per day –you can do this all at once, or divide it into 2 15 minute periods if that works with your schedules—some is better than none, and taking this time to simply play is a great way to take a break during an otherwise hectic day);
*Dance to music with your kids –one of my favorites—AND we often laugh a lot when we dance because my husband and I look so ridiculous when we shake our booties.)
For more GET ACTIVE tips, go here.
To reduce screen time:
*Set screen time limits. Create a house rule that limits screen time to two hours every day.
*Talk to your family. Explain to your kids that it’s important to sit less and move more.
Find more tips to REDUCE SCREEN TIME, go here.
How do you and your family spend your active time? Share your tips for cutting screen time and moving more.
Want to receive my free weekly newsletter, The ZIED GUIDE? It highlights new blogs, articles, segments and videos and those from the past week mentioned on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up here or email me at email@example.com and write “newsletter” in the subject line.click to comment
As one year ends and another begins, I’m taking this opportunity to say goodbye to my “From Me to Oprah” blog posts that began 12 months ago on The ZIED GUIDE. In all honesty, I have no idea if Oprah read all, or even one, of these posts. While they were addressed to Oprah herself, they were meant for anyone who, at one point or another, has struggled with–or continues to struggle with– weight, size, or body image. I do hope that those of you who have read any or all of the posts felt inspired and motivated to take action to change the way you eat, move, or live, or the way you think and feel about yourself. If you did–or if you even disagreed with anything I’ve said–I would love to hear your thoughts, so please post a comment below.
I truly loved writing these posts. You’ll find them scattered throughout The ZIED GUIDE, so please search “From Me to Oprah” on my Blog page if you want to check some or all of them out. Here’s a sampling of some topics I tackled in the posts:
Talking About the “O” Word
Tips for Managing Weight and Life
What’s Your Bikini?
Lost Weight? 5 Ways to Keep it Off for Good
Beyond the Biggest Loser: Thoughts About Long Term Weight Management
While I will continue to patiently wait for Oprah to call, text, or email me, I truly look forward to a continued dialog with loyal ZIED GUIDE readers and new ones alike during the New Year. Please keep those comments and questions coming in 2011! And please don’t forget to sign up to receive my free e-newsletter, The ZIED GUIDE, on the home page (right side) of elisazied.com– a brand new one will be out on 1/3/11.
I hope you make 2011 a year to take better care of and nourish your body and mind, to not be so hard on yourself, and to pay it forward by being more positive when you refer to, interact or talk with, and treat others.click to comment
We all get frazzled this time of year! But doing a few of these 5 minute fixes (many that involve food, fitness, and friends) a few times a day will help you feel better, and in some cases, burn calories or check off items on your to do list. So what are you waiting for?
- Go for a brisk walk outside.
- Sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and take a few breaths.
- Walk up and down stairs.
- Eat an apple or pear.
- Do 50 crunches.
- Write a note to someone you love BY HAND.
- Disconnect. Turn off your phone, computer, and television.
- Use an elliptical machine.
- Listen or dance to one of your favorite songs.
- Skim your favorite magazine.
- Ride on a stationary bike.
- Do a crossword puzzle.
- Look at old photos.
- Do lunges and squats.
- Do 1-3 yoga poses.
- Just do it! (if you know what I mean)
- Walk on a treadmill.
- Brush teeth, rinse, and floss.
- Have a warm cup of tea or skim milk (with a splash of chocolate sauce or sprinkle of cinnamon).
- Wrap a gift carefully and beautifully.
- Hang up the holiday cards you receive.
- Call a friend (one that you usually text, email, or IM).
- Clean your desk.
What do you do to destress in 5 minutes or less?click to comment
Do you love exercise, but think you’re too busy this season to stay with it? Do you need a motivation boost to start or continue with your exercise routine? Are you pregnant and afraid you’ll have to forego altogether (or at the very least, curtail) your usual exercise routine? Whatever your situation, you may just find the inspiration you’re looking for to stay fit this Fall with these tips from some of my favorite pros.
Find Purpose & Listen To Your Body
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com), says “Find an outdoor activity with purpose and meaning — walk with a friend, rake leaves, take the family on a hike, take dancing lessons, bike to work, or get a dog and walk it.” She adds, “Exercise that has purpose and meaning tends to be sustainable.” Clark urges pregnant women to always listen to their bodies and to find enjoyable activities to engage in. ”Life has seasons, and pregnancy might be a good time to find a new, more comfortable form of exercise, like swimming or walking instead of running” Clark adds.
Strike a Pose
Dying to try yoga? Keri Gans, MS, RD, a registered dietitian (and diehard yogi) with a NYC-based private nutrition consulting practice (www.kerigansnutrition.com) recommends that those new to yoga should start with a beginner’s class. She warns “If you take a class that’s too advanced, you might get discouraged and not want to return.” She also urges novices to not give up yoga altogether if they don’t love their first class. Gans says “With so many types of yoga to choose from and different styles of teaching, you’re bound to find one you love and want to stick with–I know I did!”
Squeeze Fitness In
According to Jenny Hein, an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and Brigette Polmar, a journalist and published author, cofounders of www.squeezeitin.com, “Every chore, every errand, and everything you do throughout the day is an opportunity to be stronger, firmer and healthier.” They add “If you start to view your surroundings differently, you may just find that life can be your workout!” Hein and Polmar suggest turning overwhelming daily chores like vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen into 10-minute burst of exercise. They add “According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA), three 10-minute mini bursts of moderate intensity activity dome over the course of a day can be as beneficial as a continuous 30-minute workout.”
Check out these links to help you easily squeeze in some moves: http://www.squeezeitin.com/2009/01/va-va-va-vacuum/; http://www.squeezeitin.com/2008/12/chestpress/; and http://www.squeezeitin.com/2009/04/cardio/.
Fit Your Form
Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, founder of Foodtrainers (www.foodtrainers.net), a NYC-based nutrition practice, and an avid athlete says “One issue with cooler temps is clothing.” According to Slayton, “During the Summer, having your body on display while wearing a swimsuit or shorts provides built-in motivation, but Fall and Winter are another story since we can hide behind bulky sweaters and coats and forget there’s a body under there.” Slayton urges us as we shop for clothes this Fall to buy some form fitting sweaters and waisted pants. She adds “If all else fails, pull out a swimsuit and try it on from time to time.”
What’s your favorite way to fit in fitness and stay motivated in Fall?
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